Mozilla is fighting hard to stay relevant in the browser market, and it’s punching out Firefox version after version in a similar monthly fashion as Google Chrome. As such, Firefox 89 hit the beta channel on Android this week, and it has a few interesting tweaks in tow.
If you use Firefox on more than one device, you’ll instantly appreciate the addition of a new section to the tab switcher: Synced tabs. These were previously tucked away behind a menu entry in the overflow menu, but the new position is much better and right where you’d expect. There’s another tweak in the regular open tab overview. Mozilla has removed the “select tabs” button at the bottom. You can still select multiple pages by long-pressing one and then tapping the others, though. That’s useful if you want to bookmark more than one or save a few tabs to a collection.
The new tab page has also seen small tweaks. Your favorite websites’ favicons are now much bigger, and a small icon indicates which sites are pinned to the page and which are dynamically added as you browse.
Above: Firefox 89. Below: Firefox 88.
If you’re a Firefox user, you’ve probably come across a site or two that just doesn’t work well with Mozilla’s rendering engine. To combat that problem, the browser is partnering up with Web Compat. A new menu entry lets you report pages to the open-source project that don’t work correctly due to compatibility issues with just a few taps. The volunteers running the site will then triage the report and, ultimately, reach out to the site in question and ask for a fix — a neat idea that should help the web stay free and accessible for everyone.
Of course, Android Police works perfectly fine on Firefox — this is just what the process looks like.
Unfortunately, the latest beta hasn’t received any new browser extensions in addition to the small collection of handpicked green-lit add-ons. You’ll still have to use the Nightly version to get all of the extensions you need. Like Firefox 88, version 89 also still crashes when reaching the very top or bottom of a website on Android 12, which is likely due to the new overscroll animation introduced in the pre-release version of the upcoming Android release. Mozilla will likely fix that once Google finalizes the new OS.
Meanwhile, the desktop variant of Firefox is in for much bigger changes. Version 89 introduces a bold redesign dubbed “Proton” that brings along a simplified browser UI and toolbar, reorganized menus, a prettier new tab page, lighter iconography, and more consistent styling throughout.
You can download Firefox 89 from the Play Store, but we’ve also got it on APK Mirror.